Friday, October 15, 2010

Breadless Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Halloumi

Sometimes the only thing better than a grilled cheese sandwich, is a sandwich with grilled cheese. What the halloumi?
Breadless Grilled Cheese Sandwich
(Halloumi Cheese with Honey Crisp Apples & Bacon)
Halloumi is a goat and sheep's milk cheese, originally and traditionally made in Cyprus (an island in the Mediterranean Sea). It can be pan fried, grilled and roasted without melting. Instead, it gives you a full flavored, tangy, rich grilled cheese taste that has body and even while it's warm - you can stick a toothpick in it.
Most of the time, I've seen it sold in packages with brine (like Mozzarella) to keep it fresh. It comes in a block or round form and can be sliced, cubed, or crumbled. It makes a surprising little gift on skewers with roasted vegetables and in salads instead of croutons.
There is a movement to help keep Halloumi cheese as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, like Parmigiano Reggiano. Then it would most likely be made only in Cyprus or places so designated and by traditional methods. The hope is to protect Halloumi cheese from being made of Cow's milk, or deluded and sold cheaper by mass producing it with lesser quality ingredients.
Get your cheese hats on (not cheesy hats, we all own a few of those) and start thinking of ways to use this exciting and fun grill-able cheese. My teen son was caught popping the grilled cubes into his mouth like (or instead of, hopefully) candy. Can they sell halloumi that way; known to slow down teens long enough to actually eat well?

OH, and one more thing: today's Halloumi Breadless Grilled Cheese is part of my Let's Lunch Bunch group. So, talking about cheese....go visit their "Grilled Cheese for Lunch" posts and you'll be drooling at your computer/phone/ipad for sure!

A Tiger In The Kitchen - Cheddar/Blue w/ Asian Pears and Rosemary Honey
Cowgirl Chef - Brie, Pears and Proscuitto
Free Range Cookies - Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Blog Well Done - Grilled Colby, Ham and Pickles
Bon Vivant - Mousetrap (Cheese, tomatoes, peppers and bacon)
and give a welcome to our newest -
Emma at Dreaming of Pots and Pans - Smoked Gouda and Truffle Oil!

RECIPE: Grilled Halloumi with Honey Crisp Apples, Arugula and Bacon

Slice the Halloumi cheese into 1/2 inch thickness and drain on towel.
Heat a grill pan on Med/High with a small drizzle of olive oil
When the grill pan is hot, place the cheese slices down and remain undisturbed for about 3-5 minutes. Turn and repeat for other side. Remove cheese slices and allow to cool for a few minutes, but compose the sandwiches while the cheese is warm. It helps hold the ingredients together.

Cut triangles or desired shapes before composing sandwiches.
Cut apples in half, then into thin slices (you may sprinkle with a touch of lemon juice to preserve color)
Compose sandwich with apple slices, bacon and arugula (or other crunchy, not too sweet green.)


Nancy said...

Heh, who needs bread anyway when you have CHEESE and BACON for heaven's sake!!

Some of my favorite flavors all in one little package - beautiful!!

ATigerInTheKitchen said...

What brilliance! I love the idea of a no-bread grilled cheese sandwich and that cheese looks so very nicely grilled. Thanks for sharing! xx

Emma said...

Wow, what a cool idea! I had no idea you could use halloumi this way.

The edges of my provolone that were too big for the bread got a little grilled when I flipped my sandwich and I loved the taste -- I bet this is even better.

And thank you for the kind welcome! :)

chow and chatter said...

wow great recipe and love the photos

Cowgirl Chef said...

Never even heard of halloumi -- I've got to find some of this and throw it on the grill pan. Love the apples-arugula combination...mmmm. Thanks for another inspired recipe!

saltyseattle said...

What a brill idea- I am among the denizens who did not know halloumi was so pleasantly grillable. You've created a little monster in me- this shall be my Monday afternoon plan.

Anonymous said...

Love this idea. Is there a way to make it print friendly, Ziplist it or something similar. I like to keep great recipes in a folder or app where I can find them and add to a meal planner or list. Either way, I'm still trying this tomorrow night to go with a nice fall soup.